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World On Your Street: The Global Music Challenge
Angélica Lopez
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Describe the atmosphere and live music at a local pub, restaurant, festival, church or temple, club night.... inspire other people to check it out!

Musician: Angélica Lopez

Location: London

Instruments: Voice

Music: Colombian / salsa

Listen  Listen (3'21) to Angélica Lopez with Orquesta Original de Cartagena performing 'Colombia Tierra Querida'

Angelica Lopez will be performing with Papa Yera on the World on your Street stage at WOMAD 2005

'When I'm on stage performing it, playing the guacho and singing I feel like I'm back at home in Colombia where the sun is forever shining.'

How I came to this music:

I was born in Cartagena, Colombia and ever since I was a small child I dreamt of being a singer. Both my parents, though not professional, had good voices and used to sing to us as children. I was never interested in toys and dolls, but loved spending my time watching music performances and shows on television. At 17 I began my musical career singing rancheras with the mariachi band 'Dos Generaciones' and I had the opportunity to tour with them all over Colombia. My big break came in 1998 when I finished third in a competition organized by Radio Activa (radio station) with a hundred others taking part. I then went on to represent the province of Bolívar in a national competition at the Palacio de Deportes arena in Bogotá singing the pop ballade 'Corazón, luna de miel' by Elías Ospino.

Angélica Lopez teaching dance I came to England in 2002 when the band I was playing with, Orquesta Original de Cartagena won a competition to represent Colombia at the international Music Village festival in London. The aim of the organisers was to bring a new type of music to the festival. With Orquesta Original de Cartagena, directed by Francisco Oyaga Baza, we performed traditional folk music from the Cartagena region of Colombia on the Caribbean Coast. The music of this region is different to much of the Latin music which is often heard in Britain. The traditional repertoire includes the musical styles of 'Cumbia', 'Fandango', 'Gaita', 'Porro', 'Vallenato' and 'Mapalé'. The band is made up of a large wind section including the clarinette, saxaphone, trumpet, trombone, tuba and even the sousaphone; together with a percussion section with the guacho (a very large shaker), platillas (small cymbals), and various drums - tambora, bombo and congas.

Where I play:

I now have my own folk band, similar to Orquesta Original de Cartagena but in addition to playing traditional Colombian music we also perform a range of different styles including salsa, merenge and samba. Most of us live in London where we perform at parties, carnivals and festivals. As London is home to many people from South America, a major event for us is performing at the 'Carnaval del Pueblo' (Village carnival) - the largest Latin American festival in Europe. I also teach children of all ages traditional dance, music, percussion and singing and at times they perform with the band.

A favourite song:

I have many favourite songs but the one I love is a traditional 'cumbia' from my country called 'Colombia Tierra Querida'. It's a really famous song with a strong rhythm and beautiful melody. When I'm on stage performing it, playing the guacho and singing I feel like I'm back at home in Colombia where the sun is forever shining.

To contact Angélica Lopez please email or 'phone 07951 463864
Click here for Hande Domac's storyClick here for Mosi Conde's storyClick here for Rachel McLeod's story

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